EPL Winter Holidays 2023 starts the DOTA Division 2 Season early

The EPL Winter Holidays 2023 gives us an early preview of the Dota Pro Circuit 2023 (DPC 2023) teams from Europe. Notably, it’s the Division 2 teams that we are eyeing at the EPL Winter Holidays 2023.

The EPL Winter Holidays 2023 Tournament Format and Teams

The EPL Winter Holidays 2023 comprises of a group stage and playoffs, featuring only six teams. These teams play in groups of three, where matches are single round-robin best-of-three matches. Top two seeds advance to playoffs while the bottom seed is eliminated from the event.

What’s interesting about the group stage here is that the best-of-three format makes each series a full-fledged game. This gives a reflection of each team’s potential and isn’t just a one-trick pony. Playoffs share the same number of rounds per series, but it is in single-elimination bracket. Grand finals, which falls on January 5, is a best-of-five instead.

The six invited teams include IVY, Water Rune Enjoyers, and Level UP, which hail from Western Europe. Whereas YNT, HYDRA, and Creep Gaming are from Eastern Europe.

Division 2 teams measure performance ahead of the new season

DPC 2023 have become the benchmark for teams to be considered decent in third-party tournaments. At the EPL Winter Holidays 2023, there are several, which includes IVY, Water Rune Enjoyers, YNT, and HYDRA.

IVY for one, is a staple in WEU scene, having a consistent roster and only replacing their hard-carry player for the upcoming DPC 2023. Alexandr “pio65” Zalivako, who formerly played for B8, may not have had the best accomplishments during his tenure at B8. However, as a young carry player, he has won various amateur tournaments to get noticed by bigger names.

Water Rune Enjoyers, or formerly 11Monkeyz, is among the few emerging teams, alongside Team Bald Reborn. Since joining the last DPC 2022 Tour 3, the new candidate overthrew Brame and Into The Breach to become staples in DPC 2023 Division 2.

Team YNT has household names from the EEU region, such as Semen “CemaTheSlayer” Krivulya, Danil “Bignum” Shekhovtsov, and Nikolay “bb3px” Evdokimychev. These former players of Mind Games once led the team to the major, so they are arguably the most experienced among the competition.

Finally, once hailed as a rising star in Division 2, Level UP gained fame for placing second at DPC 2021. The former roster featured key players, such as Glib “Funn1k” Lipatnikov and Nikola “LeBronDota” Popović. However, the team left the org to play for Spider Pigzs. Fast forward to recent times, LVLUP remained on hiatus until late December 2022 when they announced their participation in the DPC 2023 Open Qualifiers for WEU region. Albeit, with underwhelming results.

Nevertheless, LVLUP’s roster has several promising players, such as Elliott “adzantick” Hammond, Dmitry “Nefrit” Tarasich, and the founding member of LVLUP, Dino “dnz” Šavuk.


Bottom line is that EPL Winter Holidays 2023 has a lot to offer, especially with stronger teams in the competition. Be sure to catch YNT, IVY, Water Rune Enjoyers, and HYDRA in action, especially when they do meet in the group stage. After all, this is a testament to which is the more superior European region ever since the International 11 cemented WEU as the better region with three top finishes.